DIYdiy projects

diy project: casey’s wallpaper file cabinet

by Grace Bonney

casey at fossil (who is responsible for these great sneak peeks!) sent over this fun office-related diy project. looking to spruce up her drab file cabinet, casey used new handles and a wallpaper sample and a little mod podge to create a chic home-office friendly file cabinet. file cabinets are definitely an area designers have yet to really tackle, so it’s great to have a fun way to spruce them up until we start seeing cuter options on the market. thanks, casey!

CLICK HERE for the full project after the jump!


File Cabinet
Wallpaper sample (or any other printed paper)
Mod Podge
Exacto Knife
New Handles/Hardware



1. Remove the drawers and hardware from the file cabinet. (You can remove the lock by pinching the sides of the back, then pulling it through the front- see picture!)
2. Paint the body of the cabinet with spray paint or use a roller with high gloss latex. Set it aside to dry.
3. Apply Mod Podge directly to the drawers and apply wallpaper on top. Smooth out air bubbles with an old credit card. Allow to dry
4. Once the wallpaper is dry, cut around the edges with an X-Acto knife.
4. Apply a layer of mod podge on top of the paper and allow to dry.
5. To protect and seal the cabinet, coat with polycrylic or another water based top coat.
6. Attach your new handles and reinsert the lock.
7. Stand back and enjoy! :)

*click here for more images of casey’s process!

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  • LOVIN it! Now how many times have you seen a forelorn file cab curbside on trash day! WHO KNEW you could change the handles too!!!!??? Can’t wait for trash day now……

  • Hi Amee,
    The hardware fit the holes that were already there. They make the placements pretty standard, so hopefully you’ll get lucky that it will work out!

  • Love this! I need a filing cabinet and plan on trying this soon.

    The fabric on the desk chair looks like an old Amy Butler line. (Line: Forest Pattern: Pods)

  • I’m looking to paint the outside of the cabinet in addition to the wallpaper squares. Do you have any tips on what type of paint to use?

  • I have been looking for a way to make my massive ugly filing cabinets fit into my office. I am going out to buy all the stuff to recreate this look. I LOVE IT!!!

  • My mom did a similar thing, painted her cabinet dark green and then mod podged on brightly coloured fall leaves which she had collected and dried/pressed. Looks gorgeous in her office/craft room.

  • I am wanting to do this to my filing cabinet but nervous becasue I have had mod podge make my paper soggy before and REALLY bubble up. Any tips?

    amiemendenhall at hotmail dot com

    • amie

      it sounds like you need to cut down on the amount of mod podge you use, and apply thinner coats. and you can get a plastic edge to press it down smooth and prevent bubbles.


  • Hi there,
    I am using your fabulous idea to prettify an old filing cabinet… how did you get your wallpaper? The samples sizes I see for that exact print on sherwin are only 8 by 10. Did you have to order rolls?
    LOVE your blog!!

  • i love your file cabinet but am wondering if i could do something like this on my clothes dryer. do you think the heat from the dryer would melt the paper or the modpodge? your thoughts/ideas are appreciated. great job on the cabinet!

  • I love this idea! It’s just the thing I’m looking for to help my industrial gray cabinet blend into our half-office, half-living room. What is the fabric on the chair, please?

  • Do you think you could do this with scrapbook paper? I’m inheriting a large file cabinet from my mother in law and I’m going to paint it Tiffany Blue. I was hoping to do the front of the drawers in a black and white damask pattern or something similar.

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